Kings Camp 2014: Checking in with Vincent LoVerde

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Every hockey player’s path is different. Some, like Drew Doughty, are early first round picks and step into the league right away. Others have a longer road in pursuit of fulfilling their NHL dreams.

After four seasons at Miami University, Vincent LoVerde’s professional journey began by being cut from an ECHL team. From there, LoVerde landed in Ontario, the Kings’ ECHL affiliate. In his second season there, LoVerde was offered the opportunity to head to Manchester of the AHL on a tryout contract. A year and a half later, he’s attending Los Angeles Kings training camp with a contract to show for his efforts. LoVerde exclusively sat down with MayorsManor to talk Andrew Bodnarchuk, his contract, and more…

On if he had any nerves going into training camp this year:

“Not really. This is actually my second – I was here last year as an invite. Obviously, I’m more comfortable with the staff and knowing the players. You’re always a little bit nervous, I think. Just being comfortable with the support staff – the trainers, players, the coaching staff – makes things a lot easier.”

On if he felt an NHL offer was coming last year:

“I did not. I tried to live in the moment – focus on one game at a time. I know that’s cliche. I did not. I was focused on the task at hand. We were a good team in Manchester, we were really making a run to the playoffs. I was just kind of focused on that. When the season ended is when I kind of focused on the upcoming year.”

On if it made it any sweeter earning an NHL contract after having a longer path to earning it:

“Maybe a little bit. It definitely adds a different element – getting cut from a Coast (ECHL) team, and joining Ontario, and kind of having to work my way up. I think it definitely adds a different element. Really, you have to believe in the process. You have to really trust you’re a good player. Obviously, sometimes you have setbacks, but you keep plugging away, and at the end of the day you hope it works out.”

On his relationship with Bodnarchuk:

“Bods is great. From the second I was called up on a PTO that first year to now, he’s been a great buddy of mine. He really helped me a lot in my first year [in Manchester]. I don’t know if we were D partners that first year there…maybe on and off, but this past year, he really helped me with my development as a player. He really helped me along this year, to the point where I thought we were really complimentary together. We really help each other out and played well together. He’s been a great help to me in my development as a professional.”

On if he had spent much time with new Monarchs coach Mike Stothers prior to camp:

“I had talked to him a little bit. I talked to him, via text, a little bit over the summer – just a quick introduction. And then I talked to him a little bit at camp [last week]. Obviously, he was a little busy with the rookies, [so] I just popped my head in and said hello.”

On who he would make the next captain of the Monarchs:

“That’s a tough one. There’s a lot of good leaders, [and] there’s a lot of guys that can step up and fill the role and do a great job doing it. It’s hard for me to single out one specific person, because we have a great group of guys there. I’ll say that there’s a lot of guys who could step up and whoever it is, will do a great job in the role as captain.”

On Alec Martinez:

“He’s a great guy. Obviously, that’s kind of a generic word. He’s a very good friend. He’s invited me to his past two Stanley Cup parties. He’s been very supportive of me along my professional journey. He’s a great friend – he’s one of my very good friends. In terms of helping me out, we have the Miami alumni pro camp, so we skate a little bit together in the summers. He’s always encouraged me. He’s a good friend.”

Follow @AndyTonge1 on Twitter…

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Vincent LoVerde –Worked extremely hard to graduate from being an ECHL player to earning a contract with the Kings. He’s a solid player at the AHL level, yet isn’t projected to spend any significant time with the big club. At 5-foot-11, he’s also not the typical player coach Darryl Sutter would look to for a bottom-pairing role. Has zero NHL experience. […]